10-15% of Italians are affected by a chronic form of insomnia and the most affected are women during menopause. The data emerges from the 62nd National Congress of Sno – Hospital Neurological Sciences, in Florence.
“The epidemiology of insomnia highlights how it is a common problem throughout the world: approximately 1/3 of the adult population reports having experienced it for a short period and 10-15% are affected by a chronic form – underlines Enrica Bonanni, head of the Sleep Medicine Center of the Neurology Unit of the Pisa University Hospital – Chronic insomnia is a disorder that rarely undergoes spontaneous remission; in this regard, some studies indicate that in 85% of patients it is still present after two years and which can persist for 10 years or more in 15-50% of cases”.
The main risk factors for chronic insomnia have been identified in females, especially in the menopause period, with an estimated disorder in approximately 14% of adults aged 18-34 years and in 40-60% in subjects over 65 .
Among the main complications of insomnia there is “an increased risk of depression, hypertension, work disability and prolonged use of drugs or over-the-counter products”.
Another important risk factor is shift work, with a double prevalence in night workers compared to day workers and higher in rotating shifts. “The various studies – explained the neurologist – report a familiarity in insomnia of 34%-55% and a familial aggregation with high heritability has been reported”. Insomnia is a ‘twenty-four-hour’ disorder with nocturnal and daytime symptoms: “Nocturnal symptoms include difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep, waking up early in the morning, resistance to going to bed, and difficulty sleeping without sleep. caregiver (in children and demented elderly people). Regarding daytime symptoms, the patient or a parent or caregiver reports fatigue/malaise, impairment of attention, concentration or memory, impairment of social, family, work or school performance”.
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